This year, the tests were changed to be more difficult. The state decided that students need more critical thinking skills and so the tests are no longer all multiple choice questions, but also include click-and-drag, multiple answers, free response questions. I have no problem with critical thinking. If only we all had those skills! But there are just so, so, so many factors that add up to make this test impossible for some students. So much so that the expected pass rate is about 40%. It's been stressful. Right now, one of my classes is taking the SOL test and I just want to fast forward to the end of the day to see how the scores turn out.
This is why I need that mental health day. But it's only Tuesday. So again, I turn to my stress relieving hobby: baking. I love oatmeal raisin cookies, even though my jaw hurts after eating just one from all the chewing. Usually, I make Quaker Oatmeal's recipe, but I decided to turn to another recipe this time. I'm glad I did because I think I found my favorite. A classic with no other additions, but just the plain ol' oatmeal and raisins. This will give me peace until Friday at 6 when I am in Lexington, my safe haven.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
From I Adore Food
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 cups oats (anything but instant oats)
1 1/2 cups raisins
Preheat oven to 350F.
Whisk dry ingredients; set aside.
Combine wet ingredients with a hand mixer on low. To cream, increase speed to high and beat until fluffy and the color lightens. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture until no flour is visible. (Over mixing develops the gluten, making a tough cookie.)
Add the oats and raisins; stir to incorporate. Fill cookie scoop with dough (about two tablespoons). Drop 2-inches apart onto baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake 11-13 minutes (on center rack), until golden, but still moist beneath cracks on top. Remove from oven; let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.